Compounding Flavor (quick recipes!)

Holidays mean food.  I can’t actually think of any exception to that rule.  And it’s a good thing.  The problem with holiday food is time – guests or not, there’s rarely enough time to make everything you might envision.  So pick what you can/want to make and what you buy.  Dress up the store-bought stuff with some creativity and you get accolades with less work.  The world’s quickest trick to perk up the Easter table and make things look fancy & well thought out is compound butter.

This idea was pointed out to me by my former-chef sister-in-law, Kathleen, who has graciously agreed to lend her culinary creativity to our products.  (More to come on her amazing recipe ideas in future posts!)

Compound butter is simple because there aren’t hard & fast rules.  Use what you have, follow some basic proportions and it’s pretty much a guaranteed win.  Sweet or savory.  Vegan and dairy-free substitutions ok!  All can & should be made ahead.  Plus they can be frozen for months of use!

Here are a few recipes to get you going:

Savory Thoughts

herbs

Mix up the herbs

Spring Herb Butter – great for rolls, vegetables (mashed potatoes!), & meat

  • 1 tablespoon each minced fresh parsley, thyme and chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound softened unsalted butter

Prep:  Mix herbs and salt into butter; form into log, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate.

Lemon Caper Butter -also great for rolls and veggies

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers

Prep:  Stir butter until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and combine.  Wrap in wax paper in log form, twisting ends to seal.  Refrigerate 2-3 hours.  Slice as use as needed.

Sweet Idea

honey collection

Use good quality honey

Cinnamon Honey Butter – use on warm rolls, biscuits, corn bread, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal….

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Prep: stir or whip butter until light and smooth.  Stir in the honey & cinnamon until combined.  Mold into log, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate a few hours to set.

Variations:

Chile Honey – Substitute Chile honey for plain honey above and omit cinnamon.  Great

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Chile honey

Other flavor ideas: cranberry orange pistachio , cilantro lime, roasted garlic, and whatever else you like to pair up!

Please feel free to post comments on other combinations you enjoy.  Happy Easter!

 

 

 

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Boxes in Trees

I did a double take driving up the driveway last week.  A strange sight caught the corner of my eye.  It looked odd even though I was the one who put it there.  Just not something you see everyday, a box in a tree.  If it had’t been so level it could have been a prop from Twister or Wizard of Oz.

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Not a swarm box

I’ve been busy putting up swarm boxes across 2 counties this year.  The general idea is that a beekeeper can entice wild bees to relocate into our equipment and save us money from buying packages of bees.  Plus, we theoretically get bees who have naturally overwintered in our area and are hardy, “survivor” bees.  (Plus we save the $125 for a package of bees.). All good stuff.

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My Box at Ninja Cow Farm

Once a colony of bees decides to split up and swarm, the reigning queen & roughly half of the colony needs to find a new home.  Out go the real estate scout bees to find a variety of suitable locations for consideration.  The swarm leaves the old hive encase and  congregates on a nearby branch, tree, mailbox and have a rousing debate of Love it or List it until one scout bee convinces the group to choose her preferred location.  And off they go.

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Camera under-representing chaos & noise of a swarm

Beekeepers usually get phonically about the congregating stage.  “There’s a ball of bees on my house!”  Beekeeper promptly shifts to high gear to catch the swarm before the location decision is cemented.  Swarm boxes are kind of the opposite.  Instead of interrupting the impending swarm – we try to lure it in.

Beekeepers disagree about the value of swarms (and every other topic related to beekeeping).  Some think we should keep bees who aren’t prone to swarming, but this is a hard-wired characteristic.  It’s possible to breed it out (a la chicken example from my last post) but I’m not so sure it’s a good idea.  So I’m trying my hand with swarms this year.  Nothing ventured, nothing up a tree.  Or something like that.

If you braved Bug Out Shelter Part I, you may recall that 1 deep hive body has become known as the preferred home size for bees. We come up with all sorts of containers to put out as swarm traps (flower pots, coolers, homemade traps, etc.). I went the simple route and just ratcheted a deep hive into a tree. If I am fortunate enough to lure a swarm, I can move the frames out or take the whole thing down as a mobile home.

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This one was fun on a ladder

The rumored key to swarm traps is old comb.  It smells like cozy bees, has already furnished living space, and maybe some food stores – no place like home!  So this year all of my swarm boxes are outfitted with some grungy, well-loved comb and lots of places for them to build new digs.  I’ll be interested to see which (if any) sites bring in swarms.  Hopefully they will indeed be wild bees (not swarms from my own hives).

So keep your eyes peeled for balls of bees on mailboxes, or boxes in trees.  And stay tuned for Bug Out Shelter – Part II (coming soon) where I talk about my spring swarm strategy for my own hives.  These boxes in trees may be my last resort to catch wayward splits if my management strategy goes south.  So, pretty much a given.

First Event of the Year!

With all the birds and plants cheerleading Spring, it’s time for us to get out.  We will be at the NC State Farmers Market Craft Fair this Saturday 3/10 from 9am-5pm.  There are lots of handmade vendors from all categories plus the usual farmers, plants, and restaurants.  I’ll have all the honeys, handmade soaps, lotion bars, chicken eggs, and the legendary granola.  Plus I’m bringing out a couple of new soapy gift products. Great stuff for teacher gifts, Mothers Day, or whatever you are celebrating.

Floral Guest Soaps

I’ve also posted our tentative schedule of events for 2018 here on the site. I’ll update this with date confirmations as I get them.  As always, Facebook and Instagram are the best way to get last minute updates on where we will be.  Once Spring arrives in earnest, the bees will join us (in their observation hive) at our events.  I hope to see you at one of our shows!

Bug Out Shelter – Part 1

Inside baseball warning: the following post contains in-depth beekeep info that may interest only the nerdiest among us.  Mucho jargon ahead.
“This isn’t sustainable,” I thought waddling from car to garage with a deep filled w/ 80lbs of honey.   I was lugging home heavy leftovers from an enormous hive who died mid-winter with no good excuse.  This was dumb and simply unmanageable.

I started out beekeeping with all medium equipment.  My research showed advantages to this nontraditional approach: mediums weigh about 40lbs less when honey-full, the single frame size is handy, and “the bees overwinter better” it was said.  All very sensible.  Then the experts got to me with their advice: “Deeps are better”. “Everyone uses this set up”.  “They overwinter better”.  Not wanting to disappoint the experts, I adopted some deeps.  But after a couple of years of having these huge hives in my yards, I’ve noticed 2 things: they are crazy heavy & the bees die more.  Keywords here are “I’ve noticed” and “in my yard”.  Not in your yard experts – mine.  (I fully trust that your stacks of deeps are just perfect.)

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Noteworthy that these tall hives are in NZ – no varroa  Photo by Beesource

What follows here is no scientific analysis, merely my anecdotal evaluation.  Your mileage (and mine) may vary.  My assessment is that my hives run with 2-deep brood chambers seem to peak within 2 years.  Flash in the pan.  1 hit wonders.   Amazing production for 1-2 years then dead out in winter.  This with all other factors roughly equal: stored honey, mite treatments, location, forage, and some genetics. WTH?

In the course of spring swarm research I noted the reoccurring theme of cavity size.  Real research has proven that bees naturally choose a ~45L cavity (essentially 1 deep).  Goldilocks size – just right.  So if bees are looking for 1500 sq ft home, why do I keep enticing them into 3000 sq ft?  People do this and we call it foreclosure.  There was a huge scandal right?  They hock everything (including health & longevity) to fill the castle.  But it isn’t sustainable, even with intervention.  They poop out and the whole house of cards collapses.

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This is just cool, but unstable.  Photo by BBC

This isn’t ground breaking, beekeepers long ago tinkered with hive configurations to achieve the perfect size.  But in 1887 agricultural industrialism hadn’t hit yet.  I could name drop all the cool bee pioneers but their moms are already very proud and long gone.  Modern beekeepers now call it “Natural Beekeeping” and pair it with “treatment-free beekeeping” which is a misnomer since many are less keeping bees as replacing them.  Note that I claim no experience with top bars, Warre hives, long hives, treatment free etc.  This is my yard and I’m after a modern hybrid of sustainability & production.  Experts go fish.

More investigation struck a chord.  Chickens have a similar poop-out phenomenon.  Modern production layers crank out eggs at a surprising rate lasting 1-2 years before they simply keel over or they are culled/ replaced.  Typical industrial model, selecting a natural tendency for hyper production.  It’s known that hens (humans too) start life with all the tiny eggs they will ever produce.  So if they lay 80-90% in the first 2 years, they are sold out.  Remember this is something we selected for – not purely their nature.  One effect of hyper production is less broodiness (momminess).

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Are hygienics and momminess the same?

My question is, can the production hen effect be true of bees?  Could breeding/forcing super laying queens reduce ‘broodiness’ in nurse bees?  Either in their nature or in their availability of time?

Meaning that they either don’t care or have time to intensively tend brood for hygiene/disease.  Or are they so exhausted/stressed out by all the kiddos to feed that their best is short shrift?  Conventional wisdom is that queens pass on a hygienic genetic trait  which makes for good care-taking workers.  But could it come down to a ratio of babes/nurse bee?  Or is it both?  We certainly have a sliding scale of good chicken mommies – mostly the aptly named “Bad Mama Buff” who tried to off her offspring last year.  So maybe some bees are naturally better babysitters and given the time with a smaller brood nest, do a better job keeping little ones healthy.  Perhaps VSH queens + smaller hives?

One of the most unheralded parts of the colony are nurse bees.  These <1 week old bees are the gatekeepers of queen production, brood hygenics, and hive cleanliness.  We want a perky Mary Poppins or energetic Fraulein Maria, not the hot-flashed Mrs. Doubtfire.  Does having too many kiddos stress out the nurse bees to the point that their quality of care declines?

 

I’m not the one to soundly answer those questions.  I’m going on gut & logic paired with trial & error.  Dangerous personal favorites which lead to inconclusive, unsubstantiated findings.  My kind of science.  (former science teachers collectively cringe).

Old model:

Huge brood nest = huge field force = tons honey = exhaustion = death by disease =  buying new bees

Equally bad model: 

Small brood nest = few foragers = few resources = weak hives = robbing/disease = death = buying new bees

Desirable model:

Medium brood nest = moderate # foragers = less honey? = bee peace = better survival?

All of this reminds me that bees are preppers.  They zealously hoard for rainy days and defend against invaders.   The first rule of a preppers bug-out place is size – Can’t ward off zombies on a huge property, can’t produce enough on a small one.  Prepper 101.

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Maybe too extreme.  Photo by Amy’s Robot

But I don’t want to sacrifice my honey harvest!  So if each hive produces less honey (in theory – we shall see if this bears out), how to get the same amount of honey as big hives?  Algebra lovers unite!

If we call a single deep (x) then 2x = 2(1x).  (Identity property, thank you Sauce)  The answer is more algebra hives.  Boom.

If you are still awake, stay tuned for Part 2.  My treatise on swarming and plan of action in 2018.

 

 

 

One Week Only!

A quick note to those who follow us and may still need to fill out some stockings.  For the first time ever, we are offering FREE shipping on orders over $30 at our Etsy shop.  This includes our BNF apparel and new wood creations from the Shop at Buck Naked Farm.  But only until 12/20/17  – because otherwise, I don’t think it will arrive before Christmas.

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Cherry honey dipper

So, deal with those hard-to-buy-for grandpas, those last minute teacher gifts, and those surprise! neighbor gifts.  Get some honey – everyone loves it.  Or soap – keep America looking good and smelling great.  (Or combine them if you really like the person.)  Make it even easier with our burlap gift bags!

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But do it soon, offer ends 12/20/17.  Merry Christmas!

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Cherry & poplar trees

The Best Part

Sudden cooler weather and talk of Black Friday deals mean the holiday season is full speed ahead.  Halloween feels like the crest of the roller coaster to me.  Done with the click-click-click of slow autumn progress, cresting the apex, and preparing to carreen through 2 months of holidays, family, and gift lists.

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Kinda sketchy

The downhill is the best part though.  Nobody raises their hands for the slow ride up.  It’s the wild abandoned plunge that elicits the shrieks and hands-in-the-air abandon.  And so goes the holiday season.  My best coping strategy is preparedness: crockpot recipes, lists, calendars, and early shopping.  The two keys to success are the list & the early part.  My tip for the list: add a few ghost runners.  These are in the form of spare, all-purpose gifts on hand for the hostess/coach/neighbor you forgot or who unexpectedly gifts to you.  Hip pocket items that can be called up at a moment’s notice.  It will happen.

My tip for the early part: start now.  The roller coaster downhill is over in a seeming instant.  And the obvious advantage to starting early is ending early.  Early finishers get the good swag at the finish line, in this case spare time.  So here are 3 opportunities this week to get you started:

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  1. Vend Raleigh Sip & Shop.  Thursday 11/9 5:30-9:30pm at the Mayton Inn in downtown Cary.  Cool venue, handmade products from unique local vendors (including us).  Great girls night out to get this shopping party started.
  2. farmers market craft fairArtisan Fall Craft Fair at the NC State Farmer’s Market.  11/10-12th Fri-Sun at the State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh.  Fresh food, crafts, & firewood all in one spot.  Nuff said.  We’ll be there Saturday only, but the event is all 3 days.
  3. wwf2 Winter Wonders Craft Fair at Middle Creek High School.  Saturday 11/11.  I can’t make this one this year because of the conflict with the Farmer’s Market but it’s a fun event with staff and sometimes student craft booths.  I hate to miss it but thought I’d give them a shout out.
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New this year – boxed gift sets!

We will be at a couple more events this season – check our calendar here for more information.  I always post our whereabouts on our Facebook and Instagram pages as well.  This season I’m bringing along the favorites (the must-have fig jam to satisfy any appetizer conundrum) and some new things (cutest beeswax ornaments & guest soap gift boxes!)  As in the past, any $25 purchase gets you the super cute Buck Naked Farm gift bag for FREE.  Wrapped and ready to go, it’s the all purpose gift for anyone that you can customize.  And cross it off the list.  Happy shopping season!  I hope to see you at one of our events, hands in the air or not.

 

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Super cute gift bag in action

Freezer Burned

Beekeeping requires lots of unusual tools: blowtorches, pinecones, crisco, & deep freezers.  I use 4.  Freezers are an important line of defense.  One of the first things you learn in farming (on any scale) is that anything worth producing has a pest that wants it at least as much as you do.

For bees, pests range from tiny mites to black bears – and all in between.  On the smaller side, there are 2 insect pests who love beeswax comb: wax moths and hive beetles.  Both destroy bees’ precious comb.  Wax moths fly in and lay eggs which hatch and tunnel through the comb creating a spidery webby mess.  Toss that in the burn barrel.  Hive beetles prefer honey.  They lay eggs which hatch into grubs and crawl through honeycomb creating a fermented, slimy gunk of unusable honey.  An abundance of either pest can lead the bee colony to flee the hive completely, regardless of season or resources.  (I can’t really blame them on that one).

 

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Wax Moth damage  photo by Bee Informed Partnership

So as the honeybee colony population in a hive contracts in the fall, there is lots of comb that goes unsupervised.  Good for pests, bad for bees.  Beekeepers try to keep on top of this by removing empty comb to storage.  But the wiley pests tend to follow, having already laid eggs in the beautiful comb!  So to kill any hitchhiking freeloaders, we freeze the empty comb until it is needed again in spring.

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Small hive beetles photo by Omafra.gov

Under assault from both wax moths & beetles, I brought a bunch of full, heavy honey frames to the freezer.  Ahh, safe.  Now some sad little hive can enjoy a pick-me-up with the addition of this donated treasure.  But the other day, I smelled something foul near the freezer.  Kinda like mead, actually worse like bad vinegar.  I opened the freezer, staggered backwards at the smell and discovered that the freezer was off.  And had been off for days.  The old appliance had tripped a GFI and now sat idle.  The fouled frames inside had fermented, leaked, molded, & generally stunk up the place.  HUGE yuck.

(Hive beetle damage is gross.  You don’t actually want to see a photo.  If you do, google it.)

Desolate & generally P.O.’d by the loss of so many precious frames, I yanked the sticky mess out and pitched them into the trash, slamming the can lid soundly to show my frustration.  By daybreak I realized how bad of an idea that was.  “Hey Mom, Dad says every bee you own is outside,” Aaron told me.  Of course they are outside.  I don’t keep hives inside (ok sometimes).  I peeked out the window.   They were definitely outside, outside their hives & in my trashcan.  Those hungry girls had sniffed out the spoiled honey and were trying to salvage what was left.  General avoidance of the area is the best and really only treatment until the bees return home at night.  But by nightfall there was still a gaggle of them scouring the bin for drops of honey to hoard.  Life lesson: Undoing dumb mistakes is infinitely more time consuming than making them.

(I would include a photo of the melee but photos of bee chaos significantly underrepresent the event.)

So it’s 9pm, pitch dark, hoards of confused, half drunk bees.  Kind of like rush week on college campus.  Time to suit up and dumpster dive – par for this course.  And time to check the next box in my quest to rule out every mistake before settling on the right way to do anything.  I pulled out the even-nastier-now frames, shook off the bitter clinging bees, and stashed the frames.  Where?  In my car.  Where else do I store things?  At least until I could haul them off site to be burned.  Cue the curtains to close & plays taps for the faulty freezer.

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Frozen frames safe in a working freezer

So with one less freezer, the kids now have to dig through bee frames to find the ice cream.  (Which doesn’t seem to be slowing them down).  I was able to salvage a few of the frames to other storage and feel they are now safe from attack.  Given the value of the contents,  I’ve learned how important it is to check those freezers regularly.  (A good excuse to, say – inventory the ice cream).  Gotta keep those freezers running, or risk getting freezer burned.

 

Hot Weekend Forecast!

We have a spicy weekend on tap..  Saturday from 1-5 pm we (and the bees) will be buzzing at the CFSA Farm Tour stop on Ninja Cow Farm.  Our bees hang out there every day, but tomorrow we will be there sampling honeys, talking bees, and getting farmy.  Be sure to visit Ninja cow’s amazing country store with awesome local foods, snacks, and root beer.  $30 gets an entire carload of your friends in to as many farms as you can visit.  Don’t have a ticket?  Just go to your first farm and get one on site.  Visit www.Carolina Farm Stewards.org for maps and all the details.  See where good food comes from – it’s closer than you think!

Sunday we will bring the heat to Abundance’s 10th annual Pepperfest in Briar Chapel.  From 3-6pm you can taste local peppery foods from renowned local chefs.  We will be there with the bees and our sassy Chile Infused Honey plus it’s tamer cousins, Vanilla Cinnamon and Lavender infused.  Jalapeño jelly?  Oh Yes ma’m. Fresh from our gardens, sample our zippy blend and all the other Buck Naked goods.  

Get out this weekend for some serious foodie fun no matter which side of town you are on.  Stop by to see us at either event (or both!). We will also have some exciting new products joining us from the Shop at Buck Naked Farm.  Grab something cold and we hope to see you there.

From Perch to Pulpit

I came out to the coop and found this recently.  Heaps of beautiful irridescent feathers and fluff.  The problem was they were in piles, not attached to a chicken.  Normally these feathers were strutting around on the tail of our beloved young rooster Woody.IMG_1160

I bought Woody as an olive egg chick this past spring (to lay olive colored eggs).  I hoped he was a she.  But of the 6 chicks I purchased for olive eggs, 5 turned out to be roosters.  Only 1 was a hen and it turned out the fox liked her as much as I did.  Honestly – olive eggs were not in my future this year.  I was initially very disappointed in the roo:hen ratio but Woody grew into a beautiful, watchful, gentle rooster who respects us, the hens, and Taco.  Taco rules the place.  And Woody is ok with that, for now.  These characteristics are noteworthy in a rooster these days.  We have had our share of testy roosters in the hunt for a few good (chicken) men.  Woody was a welcome surprise.

So finding a pile of Woody feathers was very saddening.  Aaron and I walked around silently picking up the lovely feathers.  The rest of the chickens were keeping close to the coop.  We knew a fox had been here.  Aaron followed the diminishing trail of feathers across the pasture and into the woods in search of answers.  Nothing good.  Disgusted, we headed for the ducks.  The ducks always brighten my day – and it needed some serious brightening.

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In the midst of filling the duck feeder we heard a car pull up.  It was the pastor from across the road.  The farm is directly across from the cutest church ever.  I wasn’t quite in the mood for visiting but it was the pastor.  We exchanged pleasantries and he cut to the chase.  “Are you missing a rooster?”  Aaron and I checked glances.  Yes!! We chimed.  “Does he look like this?” Mr. Danny asked scrolling through his cell phone photos.  YES!!!  “Oh ok.  He’s over at the church.  He was out back for a while but now he’s out front.”  Mr. Danny seemed somewhat casual.  Aaron and I were giddy.  Onto the four wheeler we jumped and sped off.

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Sure enough between the sanctuary and graveyard (aren’t we all) there stood Woody looking alarmed and tail-less.   This was ripe with symbolism.  Catching him would be a challenge in his state of panic.  But we got lucky when he didn’t fit through the handicapped railing spindles and grabbed him securely.

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Across the road and farm we could hear Taco and the other roosters crowing.  Surely Woody had heard them and was trying to find his way home.  We can only imagine that the fox had dropped Woody – by accident or due to fight – and Woody had no-tailed it as far and wide as he could.  It’s worth noting that Woody ended up about a 1/2 mile in the opposite direction from where the feathers led.  A long way home.

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We assumed Woody would be traumatized and retreat to the quiet of the coop.  But he did not.  After our quick first aid care, he grabbed a bite to eat and resumed his post watching over the hens.

Mr. Danny promised to include a message in the Sunday sermon about Woody’s visit.  I think he got a lay up for a sermon topic.  Where do you go when being chased by evil?  When you are scared, lost, hurt, and lonely?  Woody made it clear.  The Lord will lead you home.  Amen buddy.

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Medicine Pantry

I post about honey.  It’s what I do.  But I usually write about eating honey – flavors, recipes, varietals.  But honey is an amazing substance for a lot of other reasons.  I’ve been researching this topic for a new educational display to take to events.  No title yet, but “The Wonders of the Hive” kind of thing.

Here is a short list of products we get from hives beyond honey, plus their properties and uses (there are more!):

  • Honey:  antibacterial, hygroscopic   –  Eating, baking, mead, skin/hair care, wound healing
  • Beeswax: repels water, hardening, purifying – fabric treatment, skin care, wood sealing/furniture, candles
  • Propolis: antiviral, antifungal  – skin tinctures, toothpaste
  • Pollen: vitamin rich – allergy remedies
  • Royal jelly: enzyme and protein rich – skin care
  • Bee venom: anti inflammatory – arthritis, facial treatments
  • Brood: protein rich – delicacy in international markets
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Our humble collection of hive products from last year’s State Fair

There’s nothing in the hive we don’t have a use for!  (Except pesky wax moths – although even those larvae are adored by chicken owners.)  All of these gifts while they are busy pollinating food for us.  I’ll bet some of that list is new sounding, weird even.  I’m not having a bee brood meal any time soon but the range of uses for bee products is pretty amazing.

And it’s not just homestead, folksy remedies.  Modern medicine is using honey to heal in marvelous ways.   I came across this guy’s amazing story on Instagram.  A combat veteran and amputee who is using Medihoney to heal tissue before prostethic use.  [Medihoney is made from manuka honey (produced in Australia)].  In addition to Ryan’s  courageous personal story, the use of our humble bee products wowed me.  Totally underscores our human experience and interdependance on bees.  His commitment and sacrifice for our country’s calling has an interesting parallel to the dedication to task our bees demonstrate.  Thank you for your willingness to give.  (Be sure to check out Ryan’s skilled craftsmanship in handmade wooden flags at his company Old Glory 27 Flag Company.)

Reposted with permission.

Propolis is an underused and curious substance in the hive.  This glue that bees make weatherproofs and sanitizes their living space.  They love to cover things with it, particularly foreign objects in the hive like leaves and mice.
7614446_orig-1080x675 Propolis to glue shut hive lid. Photo by Mcfarline Apiaries

Imagine a combination of toffee and chewing gum that has been warmed into a herculean bonding agent.  It is being used experimentally in topical eczema treatments but has lots more potential.  (One challenge is its hyper-sticky or rock hard state.  Beekeepers curse the cold crack of a propolized hive top upon opening.  Bees frown on sudden loud noises.)

Recently I posted a shot of my first mead making attempt.  Honey is crazy stuff.  What other substance can you use on a biscuit, make wine, heal a cut, and wash your hands?  Totally putting olive oil and coconut oil to shame as superfoods.

I started this research project under the auspices of “the value of honey”.  But it has certainly become much more.  I do believe good research is designed to teach the researcher, not the audience.  I hope to have my new display done for fall events.  I’ll share interesting tidbits along the way.  And now when I cut or burn a finger, I head to the pantry instead of the medicine cabinet.  Ignore me if you see me sucking my thumb.